Chapter 730: The Importance of Academic Credits

Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
Anyone without a student token couldn't be considered as a student of their academy... If that was the case, who in the world was the young man before her?

As one of the very few major academies under Qingyuan Conferred Empire that served as a cradle for aspiring master teachers, only those who possessed superior talent or capabilities were allowed to step onto its premises.

"I am a freshman from this year's batch... I just entered the academy, so I haven't received by student token yet!" Realizing that the other party had misunderstood that he was an outsider, Zhang Xuan hurriedly explained.

"A freshman?" The young lady was stunned for an instant before it dawned on her that the entrance examination was just held earlier today. She couldn't help but shake her head.

To think that a freshman would visit the Blacksmith School on his very first day in the middle of the night instead of resting...

"I'll be honest with you. To take the blacksmith examination, you'll require a student token, the corresponding emblem, and academic credits. Without academic credits, no one will bother going through the trouble of preparing the examination for you!"

Upon realizing that Zhang Xuan was a freshman, the young lady explained.

"I'll require academic credit for this as well?" A bitter smile crept onto Zhang Xuan's lips.

"Of course. Even if you were to take the examination in the guilds outside the academy, you will still need to place spirit stones with the guild as a deposit. If there's nothing on the line, there would surely be a few who would come to try their luck every day, wasting the efforts of those preparing the examinations and the resources of the Master Teacher Academy!" the young lady harrumphed.

For a freshman to attempt to take the examination without even getting a clear idea of how the academy's system works, was he just that brazen or simply negligent?

"This..." Zhang Xuan scratched his head.

She was right.

Under normal circumstances, if one wanted to take an examination in a guild, one would have to place a fixed deposit with the guild first, and it would only be returned if one clears the examination. This served as a barrier to deter the arrogant and those trying their luck.

The Master Teacher Academy seemed to follow the same policy as well, just that instead of a deposit of spirit stones, it was Academic Credits now.

"How many Academic Credits will I require to take the 5-star blacksmith examination?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"To take a 5-star supporting occupation examination will typically take two Academic Points whereas a 6-star examination will require four Academic Points." the lady replied.

"Two points?" Zhang Xuan was dumbstruck. "May I also clarify another issue? In other guilds, the deposit will be returned if one were to clear the examination. Does this apply here as well?"

Having walked around the Blacksmith School, he had roughly grasped how difficult it was to earn Academic Credits. Considering how even smithing a Spirit intermediate-tier weapon for another might not even be worth half an Academic Credit, two points was indeed an astronomical sum!

It would be great if he could claim a refund if he were to clear the examination. Otherwise, he would surely have a spend a huge amount of Academic Credits to clear the necessary examinations required for him to become a 5-star master teacher.

"Refund? How could the Academic Credits possibly be refunded?" the young lady shook her head upon hearing Zhang Xuan's words.

"Just remember this; in order to live in the academy, possessing Academic Credits is a must. In here, no other currency is more useful than Academic Credits. To earn Academic Credits, you will have to clear missions, complete tasks, or break existing records! Alright, you should return for now. I might still be able to give you some leeway regarding your lack of a student token since you are a student of our Master Teacher Academy, but without Academic Credits, you won't be able to even activate the [Ocean of Weapons] to take the examination."

"Activate the Ocean of Weapons?"

"The Ocean of Weapons is an artifact crafted in a collaboration between the Blacksmith School and Celestial Designer School to automate examinations. Once activated, the examinee will be brought into a simulation, where he would craft a weapon through a puppet. As long as his crafted weapons meet the requirements, he would be considered to have cleared the examination." Even though the young lady was starting to get impatient at this point, she still answered Zhang Xuan's query politely.

"Simulation? Puppet? Wouldn't a practical examination where one undergoes the entire smithing process be a more accurate indicator of skill?" Zhang Xuan asked curiously.

Most guilds that he had been would demand the examinees to display their true prowess. Thus, he couldn't help but be a little bewildered when the other party mentioned simulation and puppets.

Could it be that one didn't need to smith a weapon for real to clear the examination?

"It would indeed be a better indicator of skill if one could undergo the entire smithing process, but do you know how expensive are the materials required for smithing are? Of the hundred thousand master teachers in the academy, there are at least fifty thousand of them who have smithing as their supporting occupation. If we were to have each of them smith a real weapon, how much valuable ores and metals would be wasted?" the young lady harrumphed.

"However, you need not worry, While it is an illusion, you will be ranked based on the data we gathered from several hundred 6-star pinnacle blacksmiths ever since the inception of the academy. As long as the core of your smithing aligns with theirs, you will surely clear the examination! The disparity in results would only be at most one in a billion!"

While it was true that the Ocean of Weapons was a smithing simulation, it had been refined by innumerable 6-star blacksmiths over the years, making extremely life-like. As long as one could successfully smith a weapon inside the simulation, they would surely be able to succeed in real life as well, and vice-versa.

"I see!" Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

Indeed. Considering how there were fifty thousand blacksmiths in the academy, there would at least be a thousand who would take the examinations each year. If the academy were to conduct a real practical examination for each of them, how much precious ores and metals would they waste each year?

It was one thing if they had passed and forged a decent weapon, but considering the success ratio over the years, it was likely that most of the ores and metals would be ruined. No matter how wealthy the Master Teacher Academy was, this was an expense they couldn't afford to bear.

Furthermore, unlike medicinal herbs, ores and metals were depletable resources. As such, no blacksmith would be willing to see so much precious resources going to waste as well each year.

As such, the Master Teacher Academy decided to develop a simulation to conduct the examinations instead.

"Alright, you should return now. Even if you do possess the capability to pass the 5-star blacksmith examination, you will still need two Academic Credits. Without that, I won't be able to give you any leeway even if I wanted to!" the young lady waved Zhang Xuan away.

"If I recall correctly, you said that to earn Academic Credits, we can either clear missions, complete tasks, or... break existing records? May I know how does breaking the existing records work?" Knowing that he would be unable to do anything without sufficient Academic Credits, Zhang Xuan continued asking.

"Break existing records?" The young lady's eyes began flying around the place, and blood nearly gushed from her mouth.

Probably only a freshman like the other party would dare to spout such arrogant words!

Those achievements were termed as "records" for a reason—there was no master teacher in the academy who could surpass it.

As a freshman, it is understandable for you to lack knowledge about the functioning of the academy, so I explained them to you patiently. But now, you are telling me that you intend to break existing records to earn Academic Credits?

You must be dreaming!

If Academic Credits could be earned that easily, why would the others go through so much trouble of setting up their own store?

Seriously, shouldn't there be a limit to your naivety?

"Indeed. May I know what records are there? I would like to try challenging them..." Zhang Xuan replied.

Missions would likely be more troublesome to deal with, or else a request wouldn't be made for it... As for tasks, Zhang Xuan hadn't been acquainted with any teacher yet, so that would be out of question. Thus, the only remaining option for him to earn Academic Credits quickly was to break records.

Of course, he would try to pick out the easier ones to earn some points first. For the harder ones, he could attempt them later, after he browses through the library.

As the saying goes, money makes the downfall of a hero. Without Academic Credits, even if he possesses superior capability, he would still find his activities severely restricted in the Master Teacher Academy.

"You..." Seeing the fellow before her going on and on about breaking records, the young lady shook her head in displeasure.

Do you know even understand why they are called records? Do you honestly think that you can surpass them just because you want to?

Initially, the young lady was still thinking that this freshman was diligent, rushing to the Blacksmith School right after clearing the entrance examination, and she respected him for it. That was the reason why she chose to answer his queries patiently. However, as the fellow before her got more and more arrogant, she found her patience swiftly wearing thin, and hostility was beginning to take its place.

Nevertheless, she tried her best to rein in her fury as she gestured casually, "If you wish to give it a try, so be it. The Passageway of Records is over there, feel free to take a look. However, allow me to give you a word of advice. Don't enter any of them easily, or else you might be thrown out of the Blacksmith School..."

These records represented the achievements of the talented predecessors of the Blacksmith School, and they were a symbol of honor. Challenging these records without the capability to back it up could be considered as a sign of disrespect to these predecessors, and one would be severely punished for it.

Furthermore, being humiliated was just one matter, but one could potentially be severely injured while challenging those records if one wasn't sufficiently strong.

"Over there?" Zhang Xuan glanced at the direction where the young lady was gesturing toward, but his view was obstructed by a huge crowd moving to and fro the area.

"I am free now, so allow me to lead you over..." With a proud harrumph, the young lady raised her head and led the way.

Since you spoke so arrogantly about breaking the records, let's see how you will make a fool out of yourself then!

As a freshman, it was one thing for you to be ambitious. However, to declare so proudly that you would break the existing records of the Blacksmith School, who do you think you are?

If it was that easy to do so, why do you think there would be people here offering their services to smith weapons or selling their work? Why do you think students would go through all the trouble, braving through life-and-death situations to clear difficult missions?

Of all of the conceited men I have seen, you top the list!

The fellow before her was most likely a high-flyer from some rural area who had never ventured into the greater world. Accustomed to being the top, he naturally thought of himself as superior to others, not knowing that his outlook was merely like a frog in a well.

Oblivious to the fact that he had already left a terrible impression on the lady before him, Zhang Xuan followed behind her closely through the crowd.

Before long, he found himself standing before a black door.

This door somewhat resembled those he saw during his 2-star master teacher examination in Tianwu Kingdom. There were words written on the white wall beside the door:

"Melting three Black Crystal Ore in ten minutes. Accomplished by 6-star Blacksmith Zheng Rong in the 3784th year of the establishment of Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy..."

"Diverting the earth flames to completely melt a lump of Glacier Silver within two hours. Accomplished by 6-star Blacksmith..."

"Withstanding the heat within the Chamber of Earth Flame for 17 minutes. Accomplished by 6-star Blacksmith Liu Han..."


These were the records set by the predecessors of Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, and the details of whom and when it was achieved was written on it as well.

After taking a casual glance, Zhang Xuan's face gradually turned grim.

To be honest, these records were indeed incredible even from his point of view.

Taking just the Black Crystal Ore for example, this object was known to be one of the hardest ores to process. Even a typical 7-star blacksmith would require at least an hour to melt it down, but the record holder Zheng Rong actually managed to do it within ten minutes! That was an astounding feat!

Even Zhang Xuan, with his current cultivation realm, would be unable to do the same!

This was even more so for Glacier Silver. This material known to be impossible to be melted through normal flames. The only way to forge a weapon out of it was to soften it by exposing it to earth flames for a prolonged period of time and slowly mold it into a weapon. Generally speaking, such a process would take several months, and yet, the record holder had managed to melt it down into liquid metal within two hours!

"So, do you think you can rival their achievements?" Glancing at the arrogant young fellow beside her, the young lady scoffed.

"It's not impossible... but it'll be troublesome!" Zhang Xuan scratched his head.

If he were to really set his mind to it, he was confident of surpassing those records. However, he would have to pay a hefty price for it as well. The price he had to pay wasn't worth that bit of Academic Credits.

Taking Glacier Silver for example, as long as he were to infuse his Heaven's Path zhenqi into the earth flame to intensify the heat, it should be possible for him to melt it fully within an hour... However, the zhenqi he would have to expend to do so would reach a fearsome level.

Furthermore, there was a risk that he might expose the secret regarding his Heaven's Path zhenqi as well. If that were to happen, there would be no doubt that others would attempt to acquire his secret, even at the expense of his life. That was how great the allure of Heaven's Path zhenqi was.

While he had "Yang shi" to keep such people in check, it was still best for him to steer clear of trouble if possible.

"You're saying that you can do break these records? How conceited!" Hearing the conversation the duo had, a blacksmith stepped forward and sneered.

"Li Xuan, where on earth did you find such an arrogant fellow?"



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